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A review of Calistoga Happenings

zinfanatic | Feb 8, 201601:57 PM

We ate at Sol Bar at the Bar and at the one star Michelin restaurant. We also dined at Evangeline and Sam''s Social Club. The Bar menu at Sol Bar is far more interesting to me than the different restaurant menu. We had the "Lucky Pig" which is a big serving or Pork Shoulder served with Asian condiments, sesame crepes and lettuce cups. Delicious and lots of food! Admittedly we are not very hungry when we ate at the restaurant the next evening and we both ordered two appetizers. We both thought the plates were beautiful and the service lovely, but the food did not match up. We also both ordered a wine flight which was interesting and fun. I am a retired pastry chef so I can be quite critical of the dessert menus. I thought this menu was so uninteresting. Granted it is winter so one can expect nuts, citrus, pears, apples and chocolate. Frankly it would have been more interesting if the menu included any of these except chocolate.The menu was cashew pavlova, pumpkin cheesecake, butterscotch pudding and a chocolate marquise- all soft and frankly, to me, uninteresting. It almost seemed that there was not an in house pastry chef.
Evangeline is one year old restaurant owned by the chef at Sol Bar. It is a casual mostly outdoor New Orleans p[lace. There was very poor service with no polish. Even the greeter was brusque and insisted we sit outside! There were plenty of heaters, but he almost argued with us when we said we wanted to dine inside. It was quieter outside, so we relented. I had a hamburger and hubby had two vegetable dishes. The hamburger was cooked perfectly and fries were great. Again the experience was just ok.
Our last meal was at the one year old Sam's Social Club. It is a very attractive restaurant. The service was excellent. The menu can probably be described as American comfort food. We went for the Happy Hour which is a great Bargain. We had two beers and a large pizza for $20. There are some good appetizers and a good wine, beer and cocktail menu.
Most locals we talked to lamented the closing of Jen Le. They also mentioned a good Sushi place which had moved up to Calistoga form Napa (because of the Earthquake) called Sushi Mambo. We did not go.

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